How to treat arthritis in the neck naturally

how to treat arthritis in the neck naturally

When your neck is in pain, every head movement can make you wince. Many people feel a temporary ache in their neck when they sleep in an awkward position or they look down at their phone for too long. Other times, it can be a chronic condition that causes pain and stiffness in the neck.

Arthritis can develop in nearly every part of the body, including the neck. If you have arthritis in the neck, it can affect your quality of life by making it painful to do simple movements, like turn your head while reversing your car or look at your co-worker at the neighboring desk. But there are many potential treatment options that can help without the need for steroids or medicine.

We’ll cover what arthritis in the neck is and natural treatments that can help, including physical therapy.

The basics of arthritis in the neck

Arthritis of the neck, also known as cervical spondylosis, is a common type of osteoarthritis, affecting more than 85% of people 60 and older. It refers to gradual wear and tear that affects the discs in the cervical region of your spine located in your neck. 

Arthritis in the neck means that there’s degeneration of the spinal discs as well as the bones and facet joint cartilage. As the discs weaken and wear away, it can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Pain.
  • Stiffness.
  • Headaches.
  • Muscle spasms
  • Weakness in the arms and hands.

Ways to naturally treat your arthritis in the neck

There are different ways to treat pain, such as medication or a steroid injection. When it comes to the chronic neck pain that’s caused by arthritis, it may seem easy to just reach for a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, or ask your doctor for an injection. But many people prefer to treat their pain naturally to reduce the risk of side effects that may stem from synthetic chemicals.

Here are a few common ways to naturally treat arthritis in the neck. Some may require the assistance of a health care professional, such as a physical therapist.

  • Hot and cold therapy — One of the most tried-and-true ways to have temporary pain relief at home is by alternating between cold and warm treatments. Use an ice pack on your neck for 20 minutes at a time to restrict the blood vessels and numb the area. A warm treatment, such as a hot compress, increases circulation and reduces stiffness.

  • Exercises — Strengthening and stretching exercises can go a long way in naturally treating arthritis symptoms in the neck. A physical therapist can walk you through safe and effective neck stretches to alleviate pain and decrease stiffness. There are also exercises that will improve the strength of the surrounding soft tissue to increase support.

  • Manual therapy — A physical therapist can use their hands to manually manipulate the affected area and reduce pain. If you’re trying to naturally treat arthritis in the neck, a physical therapist will likely use soft tissue mobilization. This technique involves the therapist finding and breaking up scar tissue with their hands with massage-like movements.

How physical therapy can naturally treat your arthritis in the neck

As we mentioned earlier, a physical therapist can play a vital role in naturally treating your arthritis in the neck. Physical therapy is one of the best courses of action for treating arthritis pain because it can not only help alleviate the ache, but it can also improve the overall quality of the surrounding soft tissue to reduce the risk of future issues. 

A physical therapist can help naturally treat your arthritis in the neck by designing a personalized treatment plan for you based on the severity of your symptoms and your physical capabilities. 

Using a treatment plan, a physical therapist can help naturally treat your arthritis in the neck in several ways, including: 

  • Managing your pain and reducing the risk/severity of future flare-ups.

  • Increasing strength in the surrounding muscles to decrease pressure on surrounding nerves.

  • Teaching you stretching and strengthening exercises to practice at home between sessions.

  • Improving your posture to reduce stress on joints.

Advent Physical Therapy can treat your arthritis in the neck naturally

While modern medicine has come a long way over the past few decades, many people still prefer to treat pain with natural remedies. That’s why physical therapy has become one of the go-to options for people struggling with arthritis in the neck. 

At Advent Physical Therapy, we want to help improve your quality of life by decreasing your arthritis pain and improving your neck’s range of motion.

Call us or request an appointment today to naturally treat arthritis in the neck.